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1
NYC Success: Strategic, Intentional
Coordination and Consistent
Monitoring and Evaluation
New York City has the longest ...
2
“Since the Mayor’s Office has oversight and visibility
into the agencies, we’ve found it important to have
an active rol...
3
•	 Develop a Project Plan
Subsequent to creating the Action Plan,
NYC staff worked with agency leads
to identify project...
4
Along with the Task Force, the NYC Mayor’s Office
of Operations also oversees two other important
working groups, both o...
5
Learn more and find additional resources at
www.visionzeronetwork.org
A SYSTEMS BASED APPROACH
Vision Zero is a systems ...
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New York City - Excellent Internal Coordination to Advance & Track Vision Zero

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This case study highlights a program life cycle
and monitoring system established in New
York City, the country’s longest standing Vision
Zero program, to strategically coordinate and
track progress among no fewer than 11 city
departments, as well as other stakeholders. The
thoughtful coordination among the departments
and internal strategies used to consistently track
and evaluate safety efforts stand as a model for
other Vision Zero cities.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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New York City - Excellent Internal Coordination to Advance & Track Vision Zero

  1. 1. 1 NYC Success: Strategic, Intentional Coordination and Consistent Monitoring and Evaluation New York City has the longest standing, most robust Vision Zero program in the country. Yet its success does not result from longevity alone. Rather, for those leading the work, progress has been the outcome of an intentional, coordinated planning and implementation effort among multiple departments to chart clear goals and consistently evaluate for progress. According to city staff, key to their success has been clear communication of roles and responsibilities among the various departments working on Vision Zero, consistent monitoring and evaluation of project efforts, and public accountability. This case study provides an outline of the life cycle and monitoring tools used in New York City from which other cities can learn. Establish Effective Program Life Cycle Staff in the NYC Mayor’s Office directs Vision Zero and underscores the importance of setting up an internal system to plan and monitor actions. Immediately after the release of the NYC Vision Zero Action Plan in February 2014, a kickoff meeting was held at City Hall with agency heads to lay out the framework for the permanent Vision Zero task force, as well as to identify agency leads to participate. Prioritizing Internal City Coordination to Advance, Track Vision Zero A New York City Case Study Effective cross-departmental collaboration is a fundamental element to laying a strong foundation for Vision Zero. At a minimum, coordination and leadership among the Mayor’s office, department of transportation, public health department, and police department are required to set up an effective traffic safety program that advances Vision Zero. But with multiple agencies involved and a long timeframe for action, how can cities manage a Vision Zero program to maintain accountability and track progress towards the end goal? This case study highlights a program life cycle and monitoring system established in New York City, the country’s longest standing Vision Zero program, to strategically coordinate and track progress among no fewer than 11 city departments, as well as other stakeholders. The thoughtful coordination among the departments and internal strategies used to consistently track and evaluate safety efforts stand as a model for other Vision Zero cities.
  2. 2. 2 “Since the Mayor’s Office has oversight and visibility into the agencies, we’ve found it important to have an active role in overseeing the Vision Zero initiative,” says Geraldine Sweeney, Chief Strategy Advisor in the Mayor’s Office of Operations, who led a recent Vision Zero Network webinar for peer cities on this important topic. “We want to make sure we set up the departments for success.” Once the agency leads were established, they developed project plans and identified key performance indicators to determine how the various agencies would be evaluated. The Mayor’s Office also ensured that budgets were in place, and that agencies were set up for success in terms of staffing. Shortly thereafter, they held their first Vision Zero Task Force meeting. Sweeney counts the following steps as key in the program’s life cycle: (1) initial project setup, (2) implementation and monitoring, and (3) learning and evaluation. These steps are detailed below. Initial Project Setup Creating a framework for success depends significantly on how the project is initially set up. New York City took the time and effort to clearly define departmental roles and responsibilities and set up project metrics to make it easier to monitor and evaluate over time. NYC included the following steps in their Project Setup: • Clarify Who is Involved and How Sweeney says this step cannot be over- emphasized, to provide a clear outline of which departments should participate in Vision Zero planning, as well as their specific roles and responsibilities as tasks and deliverables become better defined. NYC staff created two charts to help define and document these: (a) Team organizational chart, and (b) Roles & responsibilities of each team member. These initial actions helped staff lay out a framework for the Vision Zero Task Force and, within this, establish clear agency leads and roles for each Task Force member. • Outline a Holistic Strategy to Improve Road Safety Once the participants have been identified, leaders can work together to create a holistic Action Plan. This should be based on data and input from each of the different agencies. Task Force TEAM ORGANIZATIONAL CHART ROLES/RESPONSIBILITIES OF EACH TEAM MEMBER Ops Program Manager Team Member/ Unit Name(s) of team member of unit Team Member 1 Team Member 2 Team Member 3 Title/position on org. chart List project tasks/ deliverables, mgmt and decision making duties, and reporting structure Role Responsibilities Marketing Working Group Additional Units & Support Staff Data Working Group Additional Units & Support Staff Website Working Group Additional Units & Support Staff NYC’s Vision Zero Task Force outlined which agencies would participate and clarified members’ roles and responsibilities.
  3. 3. 3 • Develop a Project Plan Subsequent to creating the Action Plan, NYC staff worked with agency leads to identify project milestones, actions, and timelines. According to Sweeney, this phase was extremely useful in that it allowed the multiple departments to assess whether they had sufficient budget and staffing to accomplish the goals. Staff developed a project spreadsheet to consistently monitor activities and timelines – indicated easily by colors red, yellow, or green – and share consistently with Task Force members. Implementation and Monitoring The Vision Zero Task Force plays a critical role in implementation and monitoring. NYC’s Task Force consists of representatives from no fewer than 11 City agencies and partners, perhaps not surprising for a city with more than 8 million people. Nonetheless, the city has put into place numerous internal systems to monitor progress towards Vision Zero goals from which other cities can learn. NYC’s Task Force meets every two weeks to review status. According to staff, regular meetings help everyone stay on track. Meetings are used to view departmental presentations, review metrics, and discuss cross agency ideas. And this focus has not slowed down. NYC celebrated its 80th Vision Zero Task Force meeting in August 2017, three years after beginning, an average of 25 meetings per year. Task Force members depend on clear presentation of data and metrics in these meetings to evaluate progress and to plan next steps. Some of the tracking documents NYC uses include the following: • Monthly program dashboard • Project monitoring metrics Monitoring program performance Identifying progress towards goals Each agency tracks Vision Zero actions to monitor performance and share with public. Above, an internal project plan helps consistently monitor activities and timelines. Below, an internal dashboard evaluates program data and progress towards goals.
  4. 4. 4 Along with the Task Force, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Operations also oversees two other important working groups, both of which are multi-agency efforts, that are critical to the success of Vision Zero. They are the Vision Zero Marketing Working Group and the Data Working Group. Learning and Evaluation In addition to biweekly Task Force meetings, staff in the Mayor’s Office hold regular meetings to ensure departments and staff leads are on track. Data is constantly evaluated to inform decisions and problem solve. Data is also shared with local, state, and private partners. In one example, the City’s Department of Health & Mental Hygiene links hospital data with police- based crash reports to compare findings and identify potential gaps. The linked dataset is used to identify patterns of injuries, assess the disproportionate impact of injuries on special populations, and to plan for collaborative solutions. Maintain Transparency with the Public In addition to the life cycle steps, NYC staff emphasizes that they are committed to maintaining transparency with the public to frequently and clearly communicate data on progress towards the goal of zero traffic deaths and serious injuries. Staff produces both a Vision Zero Scorecard and annual Progress Report to update on projects outlined in the Action Plan. TASK FORCE FINDINGS In one example, Task Force review of data found that severe crashes with people walking were increasing significantly (40%) in late afternoon and evening hours. The Task Force collaborated to launch a city- wide multi-agency seasonal approach that included improved lighting at troublesome locations; increased enforcement at nighttime at priority locations and for the most dangerous behaviors; increased outreach to drivers. NYC measured a 30% decrease in traffic fatalities for the time period that year (late October-late December 2016) as compared to the same time frame during the three previous years. • Vision Zero Scorecard to share monthly • Updates monthly to the Vision Zero View Map • Progress reports to update annually A Vision Zero View Map is updated monthly to show crash data. Data evaluation showed more pedestrian crashes occurred at dusk. A Vision Zero Scorecard tracks monthly progress on stated goals.
  5. 5. 5 Learn more and find additional resources at www.visionzeronetwork.org A SYSTEMS BASED APPROACH Vision Zero is a systems based approach. A safe system is built on the concept of a shared responsibility for street safety. When a problem is detected, solutions are found in the underlying design or policy, not overly focused only on the individual. Multi-departmental collaboration and ongoing evaluation is critical within this approach. New York City’s internal processes may not be glamorous, still they are essential in helping to maintain coordination and consistently measure and evaluate for progress. Without these systems in place, it is impossible to know whether strategies employed are effective and how a city can most quickly reach the goal of zero traffic deaths and serious injuries. For all Vision Zero communities, and those even considering adopting Vision Zero commitments, we encourage taking the time up front to set up the right processes and systems internally, within the city family, to ensure accountability and measurability. This is essential to Vision Zero success. Annual Progress Reports are shared with the public to track progress on stated goals. Cross departmental meetings are key to collaboration.

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